Steven Finn admitted it’s nice when a plan comes together after making a dream start to his County Championship season for Middlesex on day two against Warwickshire at Lord’s.
The England quick put a winter of injury behind him to bag a wicket with his very first ball of the summer as the visitors struggled to 146-4 in reply to Middlesex’s imposing tally of 452.
Ian Westwood was the victim edging a beast of a lifter to Nick Compton at fourth slip.
Finn revealed it was an opportunity which could have been missed as Compton may have ended up in the wider gully position.
“For the first one to go exactly where I wanted it to and take the shoulder of the bat was great, especially after we had just talked about whether we wanted three slips and a gully or four slips,” he said.
“I said I want four slips and it went straight to fourth.
“I think I’m where I want to be in terms of the first Test. You are always looking to build, but it is a nice starting point for me. It is about keeping drilling the things I’ve been working on the last couple of years. I’m happy with where my action is at and felt my pace was good today.”
Finn would later bag a second wicket when disturbing Sam Hain’s stumps.
“I felt in good rhythm and though I went at four an over I didn’t feel like I deserved to go at four an over,” he said
“There were a couple of loose balls, but that is going to happen when you are trying to chase wickets.
“We were a long way ahead in the game when we started that innings, so we came out to attack and try and get wickets.”
It wasn’t the Watford-born paceman’s only claim to fame of the day as he clubbed only the fifth six of his career with the bat – a huge blow over long-on on his way to 22 not out.
“It came out the screws as well, so it is a nice feeling when that happens,” he added.
“We talk about getting into fifth gear too early, so when you hit a shot like that as a bowler you think you are in and I think I felt like that for about 10 balls today and had to reign myself back.
“It is obviously pleasing to get a few runs, but more importantly to get us further ahead in the game.
Finn (2-48) and Tim Murtagh (2-33) ensured Warwickshire face an uphill battle to avoid a first defeat against Middlesex at Lord’s since 1983.
Varun Chopra (57), a victim of one which kept low from Murtagh admitted Finn looked in the groove and that it was the sort of pitch where you felt ‘There was a ball with your name on it.’
However, he believes former England man Jonathan Trott’s unbeaten 62 offers hope for Day Three, especially if the sun, conspicuous by its absence for much of the day should reappear.
“Finn bowled some really good balls,” he said.
“The one to Westy [Westwood] was a really horrible delivery to get first up – pace and bounce down the hill and he had to play at it.
“It is keeping a bit lower for bowlers from the Pavilion End. That’s what happened with my one and Belly’s [Bell] kept low too. They were two naughty deliveries really.
“Hopefully some blue skies will be about tomorrow as Lord’s is a different sort of pitch then and we bat all the way down, so if we apply ourselves tomorrow morning and throughout the day we will get as close to them as possible.
“Trotty looked in fine order and he looked good down at Hampshire as well to be fair before he got out, so we know if he is in a good space and batting at four for us our batting line-up looks really strong.”